Cliff would describe himself as a ‘born and bred’ Wiganer, having lived in the town all his life (apart from a short spell as a baby), and NEVER wished to live anywhere else. Born in 1954, he was educated at Sacred Heart R.C Primary School in Hindley Green, Thornleigh College in Bolton (not the best years of his life…. they didn’t even play rugby!) and Wigan Technical College.
His first job was at Hindley U.D.C as a rates clerk then, following local government re-organisation, progressed to Wigan M.B.C as an auditor. From that point he became a Licensed Trade Stocktaker, initially with Greenall Whitleys, and for the last 30 years was self-employed. This has involved spending a great deal of his working life (and quite a bit of personal life too) in pubs, clubs and restaurants… not a bad working life.
An ardent rugby fan, Cliff was an enthusiastic (if average) playing member of Wigan R.U.F.C for almost 25 years and loved every minute of it. He was also a pretty successful junior Rugby League coach for over 15 years with both the Wigan Schools and Hindley A.R.L.F.C; and several future stars of the game benefited from his coaching; including recently retired Wigan R. L captain, Sean O’Loughlin, and former International players, Paul Deacon and Paul Johnson. He has always been a big fan of Wigan Rugby League Club and rugby league in general. Unlike many rugby fans in the town, he also follows the football team and was at Wembley to see them win the F.A Cup in that unbelievable 2013 final.
He has been married to Lynn for 47 years and has 2 children; Michael and Kerry, and 4 grandchildren; Will, Jessica, Layla and Hallie, all of whom have experienced, though not always enjoyed, at least one of Grandad’s walks.
Unfortunately, shortly after completing this book, Cliff suffered significant sight loss due to a long standing health condition. He is now classed as partially sighted so the emphasis on personal safety has diminished his appreciation of the countryside a little, although he still manages to get out for walks on a regular basis. He is passionate about his town and hopes that this book will encourage people to explore it fully. Not just the walks illustrated in the book but other surrounding areas not covered. There is so much more about the Wigan area than is initially apparent and the benefits to be gained from discovering them are immense. ‘Wigan really is Wonderful’.